, Gloucester, MA

March 7, 2013

Pitbull heroin suspect back in jail

Dugan hit with drug, alcohol use, probation violation charges

By Marjorie Nesin
Staff Writer

---- — A day after a court appearance punctuated by protesters waving signs in memory of the pitbull gutted and found in Gloucester four months ago, the 27-year-old man charged with that crime was arrested again Wednesday for allegedly violating his probation with drug and alcohol use and will be held without prejudice until a new court date Friday.

When police arrested John “Jack” Dugan in a room at the Captain’s Lodge Motor Inn Wednesday about 1:23 p.m., Dugan, who had been mandated under pre-trial probation to abstain from drug and alcohol use, told police that he had consumed alcohol and used drugs, including smoking marijuana since leaving court Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Dugan, who police believe sliced open his pet pitbull Xena in December in order to retrieve heroin his dog had ingested, told police Wednesday that he had “snorted” Percocet pills, an opiate and narcotic, and consumed a bottle of Jameson whiskey Tuesday night after his court appearance.

“Dugan stated he relapsed after his court proceeding yesterday,” Detective Steven Mizzoni wrote in the report.

Dugan had appeared in court Tuesday for a status hearing that Judge Joseph Jennings continued to May 3, tacking a pre-trial hearing on to the May date.

A judge had set the terms of Dugan’s pre-trial probation in December. He is ordered to abstain from any drug use or alcohol consumption and is ordered not to possess animals.

Probation officers were first tipped off to Dugan’s possible drug use Wednesday, when employees at Addison Gilbert Hospital notified the probation department that Dugan had not attended his court required Discover drug program class at the hospital Wednesday, police said.

Dugan, who was released from Middleton Jail in mid-January after posting $20,000 bail, had been set to graduate the drug program this week.

“Yeah, I was going to graduate Friday,” Dugan told the Clerk Magistrate after the arrest.

Police learned Wednesday that Dugan was renting a hotel room at the motor inn, and five police officers and a probation officer showed up at Dugan’s rented room to investigate.

Though Dugan refused to submit to a urine test after admitting to the drug use, police found an object in the hotel room that Dugan told police was a device he crafted in order to conceal urine for a drug screen. The device consisted of a 5-Hour Energy Drink bottle filled with drug-free urine, wrapped with electrical tape, and attached to two hand warmers, small disposable pockets used to produce heat and warm the urine, police said.

Police seized the urine carrying device, a bag of marijuana found inside the room, and the empty bottle of Jameson liquor as evidence, according to police.

Dugan is ordered to appear in court Friday.

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at